In 1998, American Girl launched its first walk-in store in Chicago, IL. I was a teenager at the time and wanted very much to see the place that held every doll of my childhood dreams. Twenty years later, I finally visited. American Girl Place Chicago was moved from its original location to Water Tower Place in 2008.
The two-floor store is very spacious. The displays are spread far enough apart that you can peacefully browse and let inspiration take you. I have visited two other AG Boutiques and they do not compare in size or grandeur.
Upon entering the main doors from Michigan Ave, you are greeted with a grand, expansive space. The BeForever Dolls are center stage in this part of the store. Each historical girl has a life-size display with pieces from her story and time period.
Every doll has her own section with a showcase of her collection and some have the actual sets out and available for a child to play with. Nanea’s Market and Maryellen’s Airstream are just a few pieces out to enjoy. Please enjoy a gallery of the life-size displays and doll collections at the bottom of the page.
For my visit I decided to take my twins Ella and Emma (Truly Me #61) to explore the store with me. They were exited to get out of my backpack and see all of the friendly faces waiting to greet them in the store. After passing the BeForever Displays, I found Z, Gabriella, Tenney and Logan. In this area the twins decided to get on Tenney’s stage with hopes of joining the band. Bitty Baby and Wellie Wishers have their own private section tucked away in the store. It’s a colorful, fun area.
It was now time to head upstairs to the Truly Me area. As you reach the top of the escalator, you see the current Girl of the Year, Luciana and all of the past GOTY’s in their labeled cases. I absolutely love the way the retired dolls were displayed and now want to figure out how to do something similar for my collection.
As I turned the corner, I was met with a wonderful surprise. A corridor leading to the Bistro was lined with little “shops”. An Ear Piercing Area, Doll Hair Salon and Maryellen’s Sweet Shop.
After exploring the first floor Ella and Emma needed a break before continuing. Maryellen’s Sweet Shop was just the place to rest. The girls each picked out a delicious cookie. Ella chose a pink one shaped like a cupcake and Emma picked a blue heart with music notes that reminded her of Melody. The counter had some Jellybeans in adorable candy jars that Emma thought would be perfect for the doll house, so we purchased three.
After recharging with a cookie break we headed into the rest of the store. Ella and Emma had a so much fun getting to see all of the wonderful sets in person! The Grand Hotel and Stable were their favorites!
We had a hard time deciding who should come home with us and join the doll family. Eventually, we decided on Truly Me 74 and Nanea (to complete the historical collection). See the historical collection here Meet the Historical Dolls. It was a wonderful trip and completely met all of my expectations!